Pioneer Alaskan, Shirley Mae Duda, recently passed to join her beloved husband, Steven Duda, in the company of our Lord Jesus on Dec. 23, 2016. Shirley came to Alaska as a child of 13. The family settled in the Aleutian Islands, where they worked as camp cooks for several years. When she was 17, the family moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where she met the Love of Her Life, Steve Duda. They married in 1940. The new family settled on an old pig farm at 16th and I streets! Over the next 76 years, they both worked hard at a variety of jobs, building their home and family and also the great Territory and State of Alaska! "Shirl" was accomplished in a number of diverse disciplines. At one of her first jobs at the "Star Cafe," she took some time to romance Stevie, her future husband, and to "teach the boys how to dance..." Those boys never stood a chance... Over the years she developed a customer list of over 350 families for her dressmaker/alteration business. Those were the days when everyone knew everyone, like the Atwoods and the Hickles. She made hundreds of donated afghans and other original gifts for hospital patients of all ages. She kept in close touch with hundreds of family members and friends, eventually creating hundreds of original birthday and Christmas cards for the Pioneer Home, Providence Hospital, Alaska Regional Hospital, the Salvation Army, and, of course, the Anchorage Garden Club. She has many family members and friends that will miss her. They include her only child, now a beautiful woman, Eileen, with her husband of 45 years, Robert and their two sons, Eric and Sean. Family includes her sister, Carol Blair and her grandson Sean's wife, Pauline and son Joseph. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Providence Children's Hospital. There will be an informal remembrance service on Jan. 22, 2017, at 11 a.m., at the Anchor Park Methodist Church. All of Alaska is invited.
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